Human–Wildlife Coexistence in Urban Wildlife Management: Insights from Nonlethal Predator Management and Rodenticide Bans
Department of Politics, Drexel University, 3025 MacAlister Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science, Drexel University, 2024 MacAlister Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 September 2020 / Revised: 11 October 2020 / Accepted: 24 October 2020 / Published: 28 October 2020
We seek to understand how U.S. cities manage human coexistence with wild animals that are often disliked, specifically coyotes and rats. To this end, we analyze urban wildlife management plans from around the country that propose to strengthen human–wildlife coexistence. Remarkably, some cities are learning to tolerate and even welcome wild predators, such as coyotes, as long as they do not endanger human safety. Killing aggressive individuals remains a management option of last resort. Alternatively, rats are not tolerated at all, and the use of rodenticides to control rat populations remains widespread. Emerging local restrictions on the use of some rodenticides seek to protect the lives of carnivores who feed on rodents. We discuss what the increased popularity of less lethal forms of urban wildlife management can tell us about the capacity of cities to promote the wellbeing not only of people but of wild animals too.